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img 2201Rocky Hildebrand raises the flag, as Bill Kupke salutesPhotos by Mary Alice Murphy

The Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society hosted a 152nd birthday celebration for the fort on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. The festivities opened with a flag raising on the former parade ground. After the flag was flying, tours of the fort were given to those interested. The first presentation, attended by about 50 people, took place at 10:30: "Ranchers and the Feeding of Fort Bayard" by Deily Crumbly, followed by birthday cake. A barbecue dinner served 45 at 6:30 p.m. and was followed by "The West: Singing Its Story" by Ralph Estes, sponsored by the New Mexico Humanities Council.

Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy, unless otherwise noted.

Western New Mexico University President Joseph Shepard gave his annual state of the university speech at the Welcome Bash for students coming for the first time or returning to the university for the fall semester.

By Roger Lanse

Local sources told the Beat they found the body of a woman July 5, 2018, near Box Canyon Road north of Cliff. The sources stated there was what appeared to be a bullet wound to the head of the body and after reporting it, watched Office of the Medical Investigator staff arrive, take photos, and transport the body.

OMI staff reported to the Beat that the female victim was found in a remote area about 300 feet off Box Canyon Road and appeared to have been in her 40s-50s, had blond hair and was wearing a dark T–shirt advertising a BBQ restaurant in Kingman, Ariz. No identification of the woman was located. She was of average build and about 5’ 7” in height. She appeared to have been dead several months, according to OMI staff, as the body was partially mummified.

By Roger Lanse

District 3 Councilor Jose Ray Jr., who announced his resignation from the council at its Aug. 14. 2018 meeting, told the beat today, Monday, Aug, 20, that he has retracted his resignation.

Ray’s resignation came on the heels of his sponsored ordinance to allow side-by-side recreational off-highway vehicles on city streets being defeated by a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Ken Ladner casting the tie-breaker.

[Editor's Note: This is the final of a five-part series of articles covering the Grant County Commission work sessions on Tuesday, Aug. 14, and regular meeting on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

After the presentation on the proposed flyovers for training Air Force pilots over the Gila, which can be read at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/46044-grant-county-commissioners-hear-presentation-on-air-force-proposal-to-train-over-the-gila-081418 , commissioners reviewed the regular session agenda for Thursday.

The first report, the monthly expenditures report, was read by Randy Hernandez, in the absence of Financial Officer Linda Vasquez. For the period ending Aug. 10, 2018, expenditures totaled $2,040,739.42, which included two payroll periods totaling $426,457.54. Expenditures exceeding $10,000 each are listed in the graph below.


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[Editor's Note: This is the fourth article in a five-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session on Aug. 14, 2018 and regular meeting of Aug. 16, 2018.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

After hearing a presentation by Air Force Col. (retired) Susan Beck, Grant County commissioners discussed the issue during their work session and again during the regular meeting, before coming to a decision. A report on Beck's presentation can be read at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/46044-final-sentence-changed-grant-county-commissioners-hear-presentation-on-air-force-proposal-to-train-over-the-gila-081418 

At the work session, Commissioner Brett Kasten thanked Col. Beck for coming back to present to the commission. "I'm open to discussion on this resolution, so long as the intent of the resolution doesn't get changed," Kasten said. "My intent is to point out the potential pitfalls, with a laundry list of things the Air Force needs to consider. For instance, I don't want them flying over the Gila Cliff Dwellings. I have a feeling they don't want to use this air space, but if it's a national security issue, I say, yes, use it. But I think I'll give them plenty of information to get them to go to other areas."

Photographer Frank Kenney likes to cover anything having to do with horses. He excels in catching the action, the candid and the aw, too cute moments. These are pulled from more than 250 photos he offered the Beat. The FFA held a fundraiser rodeo at the Southwest Horsemen's Association Arena east of Silver City on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018. Young and old and everybody in between participated in the rodeo.

[Editor's Note: This is the third in a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session of Aug. 14 and the regular meeting on Aug. 16, 2018.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

After discussion on the agenda for the Grant County Commission regular meeting and before public input, a report of both of which can be read by visiting http://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/46058-grant-county-commission-hears-public-comment-at-regular-session-081618, commissioners heard the monthly report from Gila Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Taffy Arias and Chief Medical Officer Richard Stokes.

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